About Therapy

The Practice

You will receive more intimate and focused energy and time, than you would in other places. The focus of my practice is primarily individual therapy with children and adults.

The Place

You will always be coming to a place that feels safe. Talking, sharing, revealing, and disclosing are not required. They are encouraged and supported, but allowed to happen in your own time. You have to be able to trust.

What I hope, is that you know it is OK to be yourself – exactly who you are, exactly where you are at, no perfection required.

This is YOUR Therapy

You will be coming to a place where you have time to get settled without rushing.

Although I can provide guidance, information, and teach skills, my primary role is to listen. To intensely listen to each thing you say, and support you in seeking clarity and meaning.

You can at any point put on the breaks, slow things down, or speed things up… and I am to be right there with you. You are in control.

The How

For adolescents and adults, therapy usually will involve directly communicating thoughts, ideas, and a story. It often involves talking, conversation, and exchange of ideas.
I believe that if I do not learn something from you and your experience, I have missed the mark and not truly provided therapy. You have much to offer the world, to those around you, and to teach me during therapy.

For children, therapy will involve play. I am a passionate play therapist, with training, the facilities, and a repertoire of approaches that can be individualized to the child.

By the way, if you are not a child, you still can play during therapy! Often it is the most therapeutic thing that we can do!

The When

I intentionally provide therapy at different times and on short notice, depending on the situation.

Although I do not use my office all week, I have chosen to have my own, sacred space, close to United and Children’s hospital. I can provide therapy on short notice – as early as 8:00am, as late as 9:00pm, 7 days a week.

Remember a day when your child’s pediatrician was on call 24/7 if you really needed it? Although it is not frequent, I can sometimes schedule same day appointments if we discern that is needed.

The Purpose of Therapy

Healing: Whether it be a recent trauma, a distant past unresolved trauma, or a recurring trauma – trauma focused therapy is a specialization I offer.

Strengthening: Once healing begins, it involves a delicate and ever changing balance with increasing one’s strength.

Empowering: You will be praised. Positives and newly developed strengths will be pointed out and encouraged in between sessions.

Creating Independence: If we do not come to a point where I am no longer needed… then we may have missed something.

ABOUT ME

Education

After a childhood and adolescence centered around emotional expression through music, I started out as piano performance major at New England Conservatory in Boston. The level of competition was extreme, and there was limited personal support in this environment. So I changed to Saint Olaf College, where I knew I could continue pursuing piano performance, while living in a supportive college community.

I discovered counseling and social work, and I became one of the first male members of the Sexual Assault Resource Network on campus. I graduated with a social work degree, while continuing to actively perform serious classical piano repertoire.

Career

I started my professional career as a social worker, but always maintained my skill at the piano. After working with children in the foster care system for 3 years, I received my MSW at Augsburg College.

I become a clinical social worker in 2004, after extensive training in school based social work, counseling, crisis response, and play therapy. I have worked in the school system for 17 years. This has included specialized autism programming, providing group therapy, play therapy, crisis response, and evaluations.

Credentials

I have been a clinical social worker for 13 years. I am currently completing my national certification in Trauma Focused –Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and I am steadily moving toward becoming a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor by the summer of 2018.

Personal Experiences Which Enhance my Work:

  • I have successfully maintained a healthy and successful life, while living with epilepsy since early childhood.
  • I benefited greatly from the special education services needed through seventh grade.
  • I have to be continually mindful of my inherent anxiety, which can have an ebb and flow of it’s own.
  • I have 2 parrots who support my own emotional well-being, and who participate in therapy.
  • My emotional connection to the piano works of Chopin, Brahms, Rachmaninov, and others has been deeply therapeutic for me.

Unique Things About My Therapy Parrots:

Rupert is my African Grey, and I adopted him after he was neglected for several years. He funny, feisty, and picks up sounds and enjoys copying behaviors and voices. Kiwi is the newest member of my family, and she is a very small and vulnerable parrot I have adopted. She is completely blind, and needs extra care. Each bird is extremely perceptive, empathetic, and can sense how we are feeling. You are welcome to meet them as part of your therapy – just let me know!

Unique Things About Me:

  • I have ridden my unicycle across the state of Minnesota.
  • I have watched the Lord of The Rings Trilogy over 75 times.
  • I have performed Chopin’s first piano concerto with 2 orchestras.
  • I have had a small, but active piano studio for the past 12 years, teaching piano to many children with developmental needs and mental health needs.